Digital Media Mash Up: March 2012, Week 5

In this Issue

Upcoming Events - In Washington, D.C. and Beyond

In the News:




Upcoming Events - In Washington, D.C. and Beyond

Washington, D.C.

Beyond Protest: Innovations in Youth Activism
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 12:15 - 2:00 p.m.
Youth activism across the globe.
Featuring: Kingsley N. T. Bangwell, Youngstars Foundation, Nigeria; Nada Alwadi, Bahrain Press Association, Bahrain; Juan Pio Hernandez, Venezuela Perspectives, Venezuela;
Darko Brkan, Zasto ne (Why Not), Bosnia-Herzegovina; Moderator: Dr. Sophia Moestrup, National Democratic Institute; Welcome Remarks: Oge Onubogu, National Endowment for Democracy
Location: Main Conference Room, National Endowment for Democracy, 1025 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004

Beyond Washington

Ushahidi/SwiftRiver Research Seminar at the Wikimedia Foundation in San Francisco
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
How is a Wikipedia article different from a news article about the 2011 Egyptian Revolution at different points in the story's evolution? What are the roles of social media and other Internet sources in rapidly evolving articles? And what, really, is Wikipedia's working perspective on primary sources?
Featuring: Heather Ford, SwiftRiver ethnographer
Location: Wikimedia Foundation, San Francisco, CA

Adapting Journalism to the Web
Thursday, April 5, 2012, 5 p.m.
New communications technologies are revolutionizing our experience of news and information. The avalanche of news, gossip, and citizen reporting available on the web is immensely valuable but also often deeply unreliable. How can professional reporters and editors help to assure that quality journalism will be recognized and valued in our brave new digital world?
Featuring: Jay Rosen is director of NYU's Studio 20 and Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT.
Location: MIT, 633-E14, Media Lab

In the News

Global Censorship Update

IRAN: Iranian Food Critic Beats Internet Censorship to Build Social Following
There are more than 17 million Facebook users in Iran, but the site is banned throughout the country. Iran also bans its citizens from accessing Twitter and YouTube. Even so, people are finding a way around the censorship with the help of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and online proxies that work around the system. Iranian food critic Mr. Taster - who has a large Facebook following - discussed during the 2012 Reykjavik Internet Marketing Conference in Iceland how he is excelling at building a personal brand on Facebook, despite the country's restrictions to keep people off social media sites. (Mashable, 3/15)

MOROCCO: Jail terms for king's online critics upheld on appeal
Reporters Without Borders is appalled that an appeal court in Salé (a city near Rabat) yesterday added six months to the one-year jail sentence that 18-year-old student Walid Bahomane received last month on a charge of "attacking the nation's sacred values" for posting content on Facebook making fun of the king. (Reporters Without Borders, 3/28),419...

PAKISTAN: Pakistan Reverses Course for National Internet Filtering and Blocking System
Pakistan's Ministry of Information Technology appears to have reversed course on its proposed Internet filtering system. Bushra Gohar, Member of the National Assembly, confirmed to The Express Tribune "that the MoIT had decided to reverse its decision." (Herdict, 3/20)

Digital Media News Affecting Journalists and Activists

Who Tweets on Behalf of the Media?
Media managers confront a new branding dilemma concerning the Twitter "behavior" of their employees. (European Journalism Observatory, 3/26)

A Guide to Mobile Security Risk Assessment
You are an activist, rights defender, or journalist. You use a mobile device. And you work in sometimes risky situations in your country. This guide will help you implement mobile security practices in your work. It will help you assess the particular risks that face you and then assist you in developing a plan to mitigate those risks. First, we'll cover some of basic concepts. (Safer Mobile, 3/30)

Smartphone Security Checklist
While smartphones can make a significant and positive impact on those who embrace the technology, conversely the technology can wreak havoc on its users if they are complacent, careless or re-active to the ever expanding number of security threats. (Net Security, 3/20)

Five tools for the journalist's toolbox has asked five tech-savvy journalists about their favourite tools. Here are their answers in no particular order. (, 3/26)

Update on Digital Media Companies and Outlets

VIDEO: Zuckerberg's China Challenge
(Washington Post, 3/29)

What You Need To Know About Facebook's New Privacy Policy
Perhaps the first thing you need to know is that after Friday, Facebook will no longer be calling it a privacy policy. The name is being changed to "Data Use Policy." (Read Write Web, 3/29)

Digital Media in the Middle East

Digital Media in the Arab World One Year After the Revolutions
This report describes and analyzes the enabling of tens of millions of individuals-as well as established news outlets-to attract wide global followings with Facebook and Twitter updates and YouTube videos about rapidly changing events. The widely diverse and pluralistic online communities in the Arab world are creating and sharing content, casting into question the future of the many state-owned or self-censored media that provide less in the way of engagement that Arab audiences have come to expect. (CIMA, March 2012)

The Arab Spring's Online Backlash
A BILL on "information-technology crimes" with extraordinarily broad wording and harsh punishments is due to come before Iraq's parliament in April, once the dignitaries and television cameras at this week's Arab League summit in Baghdad have departed. The bill is one of four proposed laws that could severely restrict basic freedoms. (The Economist, 3/29)

New Languages Democratising Social Media in the Middle East
On 6 March micro-blogging service Twitter announced the launch of its Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu versions. It all started with the grassroots #LetsTweetInArabic campaign by a handful of users who wanted Twitter to be available in more languages. (Turkish Weekly, 3/28)

SYRIA: Cutting-Edge Crowdmap Traces Sexualized Violence in Syria
The Women's Media Center project Women Under Siege has begun a pioneering initiative to map personal experiences and secondhand reports of sexualized violence in Syria. Using crowdsourcing technology from Ushahidi, is able to collect the egregiously untold evidence of sexual assaults in real time as the crisis rages-before much of it is lost to shame and silence, as has happened too often during and after armed conflict. (Women's Media Center, 3/28)

TUNISIA: Tunisia's youth and their fight for the freedom of expression
In Tunisia, a new debate is taking shape. Long suppressed by the authoritarian regime of former President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia's free expression movement for many years existed on the fringe, comprised of bloggers, software developers, media aficionados and expats whose frustration at Tunisia's Internet censorship and surveillance regime - in place for over a decade - fomented their activism. (Global Experts, 3/28)

UAE: AFKAR 2012 regional debate tour kicks off with a panel of influential Emiratis
AFKAR 2012, a regional debate tour hosted by Sky News Arabia, kicked off with an audience of influential bloggers and social media personalities from the UAE at Meem Gallery in Dubai. (Zawya, 3/27)

UAE: VOTE: #Dubai Police Wants Crackdown on #Twitter . Are You Afraid?
Dubai's Chief of Police has fired a warning shot against Twitter users who criticize the government from inside the United Arab Emirates. And our question for you is if you live in Dubai - national or expat - are you worried that your tweets are being monitored? (Middle East Voices, 3/29)


CHINA: China Continues to Add 30M Broadband Subscribers Per Year
China continues to add broadband subscribers at a rate of about 30M per year. MIIT puts the January growth at 2.5M to a total of 152.5M. Of those, about 1.5M were DSL. They don't release fiber counts, but Jeff Heynen of Infonetics is reporting tens of millions of lines of fiber gear are in the pipeline. China has been consistently at 2-3M net adds per month. (CircleID, 3/29)

CUBA: Dissident Cuban Blogger Sees Opportunity in Pope Visit
As Pope Benedict prepares to visit Cuba next week, a dissident blogger says the trip is a good time to showcase the real situation in the island nation. (Voice of America, 3/21)

MALI: With coup, #Mali generates noise on Twitter
On Tuesday, while reporting on breaking news in Mali from studios in Atlanta, CNN Wire Newsdesk Editor Faith Karimi made an ominous observation that presaged the outcome of developments unfolding 5,000 miles away. "#Mali president @PresidenceMali has not tweeted in 10 hours after reports of gunfire and a coup attempt," she tweeted. Earlier - as a mutiny by army soldiers over President Amadou Toumani Touré's handling of a conflict with separatist ethnic Tuareg rebels gained momentum in the Malian capital Bamako - the president's Twitter account had been quick to dismiss reports of trouble.


Face-to-Face Help Getting Started with FrontlineSMS
FrontlineSMS software is designed to be accessible and easy to use 'straight out of the box' without the need for expert technical support. That said, when getting started with using a new piece of software we know how helpful it can be to have some guidance. (FrontlineSMS, 3/27)

New Resource: Using SMS as an Effective Behavior Change Campaigning Tool
Behavior change campaigning is inherently interactive. In order to encourage positive behavior change it is important to not only push campaign messages out to people, but to listen to the responses. To run a campaign which has a real impact, you need to listen to ensure you're being heard. This is one of the main reasons why SMS - as a widely accessible and inherently interactive communications channel - is an ideal tool for campaigning. (FrontlineSMS, 3/1)

Around the Blogosphere

Is Social Media a Fad? Students Are Beginning to Wonder
This week I've been speaking to classes at Central Michigan University about social media and how it relates to mass communications and journalism. At the end of my lecture, I took questions from the audience. A recurring theme among the students has been a level of skepticism that social media is here to stay, or if it will fade out and be replaced with something else. (10,000 Words, 3/22)

How has social media changed the news?
It's a question so big that it's almost impossible to answer, but it's one that a panel at the Social Media World Forum tried to get their teeth into today. (Editors Weblog, 3/28)

IRAN: "We Love You Iranians" campaign on Facebook: War in the Age of Cat Videos
Last night, while I was flipping through Facebook looking for examples of the recent meme where Israeli citizens post the message: "Iranians. We will never bomb your country. We ::heart:: you" over their pictures, I noticed a tweet from fellow academic Katy Pearce, who speaks Armenian, about how the word "pisi" means cat in Turkish, Farsi, Armenian and Azerbaijani. I responded that in Turkish, it was mostly used in baby talk, or to call out to cats: "come here pisi, pisi." (Technosociology, 3/20)

PAKISTAN: How Social Media is Shaping Debate in Pakistan
Historically, Pakistani governments have been known for limiting access to information by their citizens. However with the emergence of social media, the situation is changing. Social media activists are becoming vocal and spreading information that was otherwise impossible to publish in the traditional forms. (CIPE Development Blog, 3/27)

PAKISTAN: Spotlight on Pakistani Journalist Malik Siraj Akbar
Somewhere among rocky hills and dusty towns, where the scent of juniper wafts through the springtime air or snow grips the land with a cold, wintry hand, a 13-year-old-boy once sat writing stories for children's magazines. His town was near the Iranian border in Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province. (CIMA Media Blog, 3/26)


Social Media Reporting Project from Afghanistan Set to Debut as Multi-media Performance
Basetrack, a social media reporting project that accompanied a marine battalion on a deployment in Afghanistan, will be adapted into a series of theater performance next week at Juilliard in New York. (Knight Blog, 3/20)

How Social Media Is Changing Protest Reporting in the U.K.
Most U.K. media coverage of protests remains unbalanced, or at worst hostile, but social media is changing the rules of the game, Jones and other panelists said at the "Reporting the World" conference, (Twitter hashtag: #polis12) organized by LSE's Polis with the BBC Academy and the European Broadcasting Union. (PBS Mediashift, 3/26)

The Road Ahead: Blueprint for Building Africa's Tech Ecosystem
I have lived and breathed the modern technology Ecosystem of Silicon Valley for the last 7 years- it's a well-oiled machine that keeps on producing innovations that impact the world. In the last few years, we have started to see the culture start to spread across the world. (Afrinnovator, 3/26)

The Pros and Cons of Cyber-English
Social networking, texting, email and digital messages have borrowed the keys to the English language and are joy-riding all over the landscape, smashing body panels and junking up the fancy interior. Many thoughtful people are worried. But it's good for English to get shaken up occasionally-by people who are using it in new ways, not by academics ordaining from on high. (Wall Street Journal, 3/26)

Info somewhat freer in parts of world, panelists report
Even as some countries scramble to clamp controls on the Internet, the picture is bright for freedom of information in many places across the globe, experts said March 16 during the 14th annual National Freedom of Information Day Conference. (First Amendment Center, 3/19)


First European-wide Youth Media Trend Report
Young people are attached to their mobile phones... But do they still use landlines? Is online television as popular as 'regular' television? What is the most popular games console among today's young people across Europe? And what are the biggest differences between European countries in terms of how they use media today? The answers to these questions - and more - can be found in the first European-wide Youth Media TrendReport (2010-2011), which was commissioned by ECF's Youth & Media Programme. (European Cultural Foundation, March 2012)

Building Support for International Development: A New Research Report from InterMedia
Building Support for International Development is a guide to engaging key players in the development debate. Includes the role of digital and social media in development engagement and information-gathering. (AudienceScapes, 3/28)

AZERBAIJAN: Running scared: Azerbaijan's silenced voices
This report is a publication of the International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan (IPGA), a coalition of international organisations working to promote and protect freedom of expression in Azerbaijan. It examines the freedom of expression situation in Azerbaijan from the time of the IPGA's joint mission to the country in September 2010 to March 2012.

JAPAN: Mapping Digital Media: Japan
The Mapping Digital Media project examines the global opportunities and risks created by the transition from traditional to digital media. Covering 60 countries, the project examines how these changes affect the core democratic service that any media system should provide: news about political, economic, and social affairs. (Open Society Foundations, March 2012)

If you'd like to have your research included in the next Digital Media Mash Up, email


Global Policy Weekly
The Center for Democracy and Technology's Global Policy Weekly highlights the latest Internet policy developments and proposals from around the world, compiled by CDT's Global Internet Freedom Project.

Deeplinks Blog
Online censorship, privacy, and surveillance information from Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The Open Net Initiative
The OpenNet Initiative is a collaborative partnership of three institutions: the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto; the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University; and the SecDev Group (Ottawa).

NDItech | democracyworks
The NDItech DemocracyWorks blog provides a platform for NDI to engage in ongoing conversations about the important and increasing role technology plays in politics and democratic development. The blog is managed by NDI's ICT (information and communication technology) team.

Internet and Digital Media in China

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*Items compiled for the Digital Media Mash Up are taken directly from other websites and published material. The links do not represent the views of the National Endowment for Democracy, the Center for International Media Assistance, or their staff.